heaven. Again, our Saviour warned His disciples, " Give not that which
is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine." The
instinct of Christian consciousness has usually interpreted Pearls here
as referring to the " words of divine revelation." And this would be in
strict accord with Oriental usage. The Arabian verb for Poetry is to "
string Pearls," and thus a poem is called a string of Pearls, or " the
Pearls are found in the conch—or shell—which is mostly a product of the
West Indies, and Panama. These are valued more highly than the white
word " Pearl " occurs in many Teutonic dialects, but the Italian form "
perla " suggests an affinity with the Greek " beryllos." If this be so,
then beryl, and Pearl are different versions of the same word.
Christie's (April 17th, 1907) among the jewels which were on sale, as
having belonged to the late Mrs. Lewis-Hill, there was put up to
auction a magnificent necklace, composed of forty-five large graduated
Pearls. Bids for this, opening at a thousand pounds, rose rapidly in
their amount, until when the hammer fell, Mr. Well (of London) was
declared the purchaser at the big figure of sixteen thousand, and seven
Gems," wrote Madame de Barrera, 1860, " are never, in one sense of the
term, ' secondhand.' Their value, on the contrary, is frequently
increased by their antiquity; whilst their primitive lustre, and beauty
remain undiminished." There is something sad to a reflecting mind in
perusing the catalogue of a great jewel sale, whereat the names of
former owners are appended to the several articles, so as to enhance